EL PASO, Texas — The UTEP women’s basketball team outscored visiting Marshall 30-10 in the second quarter to take a 15-point halftime lead en route to an 84-74 win Saturday afternoon in the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners improved to 6-14 overall and 3-5 in Conference USA, while the Thundering Herd fell to 12-8 and 4-5 in league play.
UTEP was led by Sparkle Taylor’s 25 points and two double-doubles from Tamara Seda (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Zuzanna Puc (13 points, 11 rebounds). Lulu McKinney also added 10 points and a team-high six assists. Katarina Zec contributed 11 points to give all five of the Miners’ starters double-figure scoring efforts.
Marshall was led by Shayna Gore’s 26 points (three off her career-high of 29), while Kiana Evans had 11 and Asheika Alexander added 10. Ashley Saintigene posted a team-high eight rebounds.
Marshall had its second-highest turnover total of the season (19) and the Miners turned that into a 28-8 advantage in points off those miscues. UTEP also had a massive 23-9 edge in assists.
The Thundering Herd’s bench, however, outscored UTEP 23-10.
Marshall jumped out to a 17-12 lead after one quarter but disaster struck in the second as the Miners outscored the visitors 30-10 to take a 42-27 lead heading into halftime.
The lead grew to as many as 21 (56-35) on a Taylor jumper with 4:40 left in the third, before the Thundering Herd closed the quarter on a 14-1 run, capped by an Alexander layup to cut the lead to 57-49 after 30 minutes of action.
Seda hit a jumper just over two minutes into the fourth quarter and the Miners held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
McKenzie Akers made one 3-pointer to pull to within two of Toni Patillo’s (1997-2001) third-place mark of 121 on the school’s all-time 3-point list.
“We got kicked in the second quarter again,” Marshall coach Matt Daniel said. “We have to find a way to be better in that period. We had too many mistakes, mentally and physically and we have to handle success and failure with the same level head. We have an extremely tough second half of the schedule, but hopefully, we have learned things that will help us finish strong.”
The Thundering Herd returns to the friendly confines of the Henderson Center this week as Southern Miss (13-8, 5-4) visits for a Thursday contest (6 p.m.) and Louisiana Tech (10-10, 5-4) follows for a Saturday game (1 p.m.).